RTI Revelation: Indian Railways Charged 4 Crore Senior Citizens Full Fare Since March 2020
New Delhi: Indian Railways raked in the moolah even when it had suspended its regular operation in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The special trains it ran for passengers had no clause of concessional fare and in some cases, the fare prices were higher than the regular trains on the route.
An RTI has revealed that nearly 4 crore senior citizens were forced to pay full fare during the suspension of regular trains since March 2020, reported PTI.
Madhya Pradesh-based Chandra Shekhar Gaur had filed an RTI asking for details regarding senior citizens’ travel on trains during the coronavirus pandemic. In reply, the railways stated that nearly 3,78, 50,668 senior citizens travelled by train in the duration between March 22, 2020, to September 2021. Since concession on train fares was suspended, these senior citizens had to pay regular prices., the report added.
The concession on senior citizens travel goes up to 50 per cent of the fare. While senior citizens men get a 40 per cent concession, senior citizens women are entitled to a 50 per cent waiver on their fare. To qualify for senior citizens benefits, a man needs to be above the age of 60 whereas the cutoff age is set at 58 in the case of women. In 2017, the railways brought a give it up scheme allowing senior citizens to let go of the concession received on tickets.
Apart from senior citizens, railways give concession on the fare to a total of over 50 passengers categories including women and specially-abled passengers.